Having grown up in precipitation-rich Iowa, I am still intrigued when it rains here in the Kalahari Basin. Rain here behaves quite different than rain in Iowa. Yes, it still falls from the sky and lands on the earth, but rain here is a strange phenomenon regardless.

First of all, being the Kalahari Basin, my first 4 months at site meant I barely saw any rain at all. I was told the rains were supposed to start in September, but they did not come until December. However, they waited until January to come in earnest. Now I am thoroughly enjoying the desert rains and my home in full bloom. This means there are bigger and bushier thorn bushes. And grass, which hides snakes. Exciting, nee?

Rain nearly always comes in the late afternoon or early evening, and occasionally continues through the night. It rarely ever rains during the morning or during the school day, which is awesome considering my hour long walk to KPS.

Usually, any amount of rain means my electricity goes out, often for the rest of the night. So if it starts thundering or gets excessively cloudy around dinner time, I hustle to prepare dinner before the motlakase goes out. PB and J gets boring after awhile!

Rain in a metal roof house is quite fun. A tiny bit of sprinkling which doesn’t quite warrant an umbrella sounds like a steady rain, and anything heavier than that gets maddening quickly. There were a few nights when I’ve been laying in bed, attempting to cover both ears with my pillow in order to sleep. When I tell this to teachers at school, the usually did not know it had rained during the night. My ears are too sensitive for Africa!

Last week, it started raining on Wednesday and didn’t really stop until Friday, which is unusually. Most of the time it rains for 10 minutes crazy hard, or a few hours in a steady sprinkle. So a few days of hard rain was a nice surprise, until I had to walk to school. Low and behold, some of the roads turned into rivers. Fun to cross, nee? I arrived a school wet, slightly muddy, and a bit late. Squishy squish squish. I did NOT fall in the mud though!

The kids had a BLAST playing in the massive puddle in the school yard!


About Jen Lamos

Christ follower. Writer. Permaculturist. RPCV. Photographer. Gardener. Keeper of Chickens. Daughter of God.

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